Tuesday's decision by the International Olympic committee to cut wrestling from the games in 2020 stunned the world's wrestlers, who see their sport as popular in many countries and steeped in history as old as the Olympics themselves, ESPN reported.
According to IOC documents obtained by the Associated Press , wrestling ranked "low" in several key categories:
- Popularity with the public at the London Games
- Global TV audience
- Internet coverage
- Press coverage
North Hills Athletic director Dan Cardone worries the decision will have a ripple effect among wrestlers in the high school ranks.
"Wrestling is one of the time honored sports that goes back to the days of the first Olympiads," he said. "I do think that high school wrestling is facing challenges when it comes to participation. It is an endeavor that is extremely challenging, and requires a special person to make that commitment."
An average of 23-million watched wrestling during the London games, according to the AP. Cardone said that coverage is important.
"The media attention that is generated by the sport of wrestling and the positive role models that the sport produces generates interest at our level," he said. "With no professional component, this is highest level of competition an interscholastic and intercollegiate wrestler can achieve. So it is a concern that it has been taken away."
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